posted by Rebecca Keenan | 0 Comments
Buddha’s Birthday is marked by celebrations around the world in places like South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Nepal, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and many more. This day is marked on different dates in different areas depending on what kind of calendar is being used. In 2011, lots of the celebrations are taking place on both May 10th and May 17th. Here I take a look at what’s happening at one of the most enjoyable of these events, which is held in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
Part of Seoul’s extended celebrations for Buddha’s Birthday, the 2011 Lotus Lantern Festival is being held from May 6th-8th. Bringing together crowds of locals and visitors, this festival features a number of different events. An exhibition of traditional lanterns is taking place at Bongeunsa Temple in Samseong-dong and features a beautiful collection of lanterns made from different materials including silk, paper and more.
The highlight of the festival is the stunning Lantern Parade, which is set to take place on May 7th from 7pm to 9.30pm. Beginning at the Dongdaemun Gate, this parade travels along Jongno to the Jogyesa Temple. Attended by crowds of people each year, it features around 100,000 different lanterns and is a beautiful spectacle to witness. Following the parade, the Jonggak intersection plays host to numerous performances including a traditional circle dance. During this celebration, thousands upon thousands of lanterns are set loose to float above the crowd into the night sky.
That’s not all you can expect from the festival, with lots more happening on May 8th. A street festival is taking place outside Jogyesa Temple from noon to 7pm, with over 100 booths to explore. Learn all about ceremonial tea making, sample temple foods, make lotus flower lanterns and more. When the street festival ends, the Yeondeungnori (final celebration) is then held and features eye-catching lanterns and enjoyable performances galore.
May 10th is the actual date Buddha’s Birthday will be celebrated in Seoul. On this day, expect to see Buddhist devotees attending services at temples around the city. Lantern lighting ceremonies take place, along with ritual bathing of the Buddha.
So if you’re heading to Seoul, make sure to enjoy these great celebrations for Buddha’s Birthday.
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